EMC pushes out FORTY-TWO products at megalaunch

Avamar, VPLEX, Atmos, Isilon gear and more

EMC has dubbed its EMC World in Las Vegas a megalaunch with some 42 product announcements.

We've covered the new VMAX products announced at EMC World already. Some of the others are highlighted below.

There is a VNXe 3150, the entry-level VNX array, which has quad-core processors and flash, supports up to 100 drives, and has had 2.5-inch drive support. Support for 3TB 7,200rpm SAS drives has been added together with dual-port 10GbitE. Unisphere Remote can be used to manage up to 1,000 remote VNX and VNXe systems.

A VNX Storage Analytics suite has the VMware vCenter Operations Suite inside it. There is also AppSync software to protect Microsoft apps with one click in VNX environments.

Fibre Channel is on the roadmap for VNXe as is SMB 3 and NFS v4 support. Vblocks will come out in the second half of the year using the 3150.

EMC is also announcing two new Isilon boxes, the X400 and NL400. The X400 has 90 per cent more throughput than the X200, 45 per cent more performance generally, and can provide up to more than 15PB of capacity in a single cluster.

The company says the nearline implementation of this technology, the NL400, "delivers storage efficiency to over 80 per cent utilisation" and "data that is frequently accessed or used with business-critical applications are suited for the X400 while older, less-frequently accessed data can be stored on the more economical NL400".

It is likely that Isilon will support VFCache cards in future. Sujal Patel says VFCache is not supported now and no announcement is being made, but he didn't say VFCache will not be supported.

In the data protection area there is a new top-end Data Domain DD990 system, which holds up to 65PB of logical capacity compared to the DD890's 28.5PB. The 890's aggregate throughput maximum is a 14.7TB/hour – which the 990 comfortably eclipses with a 31TB/hour using Boost, and a 15TB/hour unaided. EMC says the DD990 is the industry's fastest deduplication storage controller.

Avamar 6.1 provides better Hyper-V support and support for SAP, Sybase and Microsoft SQL Server 2012 and enhanced support for Oracle. EMC says its Multi-streaming can speed backup and recovery fourfold and provide three times backup and 30 times faster changed block restore for VMware.

VPLEX, the VMAX federation box, gets an enhanced operating environment which speeds it up by 40 per cent and enables it to scale twice as much. VPLEX also gets VAAI and VASA integration so it can fit nicely into VMware virtual server environments.

Atmos has been enhanced to support 100PB as a single system across separate sites and to be more than 50 per cent quicker when dealing with large objects through networking enhancements. EMC has also made Atmos upgrades 90 per cent faster and non-disruptive.

Atmos web access tools now include Chrome and HTML 5. The Atmos API has single-use access for anonymous users, capacity management APIs to enable quotas, and the ability to set the identifier for an Atmos object. The SDK includes Android support.

In a well-timed anti-Atmos marketing blitz, Nirvanix marketing VP Steve Zivanic asked whether people knew that:

Atmos nodes all have to be at the same exact code level in order to replicate data. If attempting to federate an Atmos private cloud with an external service provider using Atmos, such as AT&T, this becomes significantly complex to manage operationally. If an external provider decides to upgrade their Atmos node, you have to upgrade yours as well in order to keep it replicating. If you want to upgrade, you must wait for your provider to upgrade first.

How would a customer attempt to upgrade multiple nodes at petabyte-scale across several locations? … Atmos’ deficiencies are equivalent to one iPhone user not being able to contact another iPhone user because they were each running different versions of iOS.

In the flash area, EMC's Unified Storage Division president Rich Napolitano said the Project Thunder is in proof-of-concept trials with customers and connects to servers using InfiniBand in a server area network. We already know that the Thunder box contains a set of VFCache PCIe flash cards.

He said that EMC has a Project X all-flash array development, which uses the acquired Xtremio technology. This he positioned as part of a storage area network. not a server area network. In other words, Thunder and Xtremio co-exist.

President and COO of Information Infrastructure Products Pat Gelsinger said: "VFCache & Thunder are server-side offerings without array features. XtremIO is a storage array with data services like replication, native data deduplication and High Availability. Depending on the use case, the customer would choose which is a superior tool for what they’re looking to achieve."

Which customer application areas will Xtremio be used for? "We see AFAs (all-flash arrays) being used for specific and targeted use cases where extreme performance is required, such as for clustered databases, high performance trading and thin clients. Those are potential targeted use cases, are meaningful and are critically important for our customers."

Why did EMC buy XtremIO?

"We pursued XtremIO as we saw it as the most differentiated technology amongst everyone in that market. It’s scale out block storage designed to leverage the unique capabilities of solid state media. While early, we are quite comfortable that moving quickly allowed us to get the pick of the litter.

"Some of the raft of start-ups in that space will get bought up, others will just dry up and blow away, but EMC is in that space and driving the disruption as it occurs."

The likelihood is that XtremIO represents the future for storing primary data in disk drive arrays. This future box needs to be able to support more I/Os than a disk drive array, and doesn't need the very low latency a server area network flash array box would have. For example, a VDI implementation with thousands of desktops would be ideal for XtremIO, whereas Thunder, the server area flash array, would be better suited to real-time analytics than a storage area network one.

Disk drive arrays will store bulk capacity data. The flash and trash idea will reign supreme. ®

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